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Simeon coach Robert Smith and his players celebrate with the 4A state championship trophy. | Patrick Gleason~For Sun-Times Media
It would be hard to imagine that there could be a pep rally that was as lively as the one that took place on 83rd and Vincennes on Wednesday afternoon.
The Simeon faithful came out in full force to show there appreciation for a job well done by the Wolverines for capturing their sixth state championship and a record-tying fourth consecutive.
The gym was packed with students, parents, faculty and administration. Some parents even joined in with the kids who were doing everything from the Electric Slide to the Wobble. Everybody got in on the act.
“This is what high school is all about,’’ coach Robert Smith said. ‘‘Kids being kids and showing school spirit and school pride.”
The Simeon reserves were introduced to the crowd first before the names of the Simeon version of the Fab Five were called.
Jabari Paker, Kendrick Nunn, Kendall Pollard, Jaylon Tate and Russell Woods waited until the last name was announced and walked to the center of the floor together.
“We wanted to show that no one was more important than the other and without each other it couldn’t have gotten done.” Parker said.
Tate and Pollard acknowledged the crowd. “We just want to thank you for your support and let you know we could not have done it without you.”
The crowd also got a glimpse of the future as the Public League champion sophomore team was honored for its accomplishments this season. The sophomores finished 31-0 led by Ed Morrow, Ben Coupet Jr. and Zach Norvell Jr., who all saw time on the varsity during the state playoffs. They said they plan to work hard to maintain the tradition and that the seniors told them they expect nothing less.
“People are going to be surprised,” Morrow said. “That’s all I have to say.”
Chicago Public League Director of Sports Administration Thomas Trotter was on hand to take in the festivities as well. Trotter also celebrated with Class 3A champion Morgan Park on Wednesday.
“It was great to be able to celebrate with both State Champions,” Trotter said with a smile. “They were timed just right.”